An Introduction to Thermographic Printing

Offset thermography, often known as raised ink printing, is a low-cost three-dimensional alternative to traditional engraving and embossing. Thermography is commonly regarded as a superior printing technology that considerably increases the quality of any printed output.

Surprisingly, thermography printing dates back to the early 1900s. You will get more acquainted with the complexities of this notion as you read, making you a more competent authority on the subject. If you are interested in obtaining thermography goods, organizations such as TEAM Concept Printing can assist you.

Businesses of all sizes have used thermography services to generate letterheads and business cards. Everything you want from them will unquestionably stand out from the crowd.

An Overview of the History of Thermographic Printing

Have you ever heard of infrared printing? Two kinds of printing that utilize heat to generate pictures or text on paper are referred to as thermography printing. The most fundamental thermographic printing process use paper that has been treated with a material that changes color when heated. Thermal printing can be seen in vintage fax machines and cash register printers. Printing can also be done using the thermal transfer technique. It is, however, more complex. Certain ribbon inks may be melted and applied to paper.

Only a few papers were salvaged when thermographic printing was introduced. As a result, much of the country’s early history must be cleared. Thermal printing, on the other hand, has been around since the early 1900s.

Thermography was a method of incorporating unique effects into the printing process. Prior to the invention of thermography printing, it was common practice to sprinkle powdered copal resin on wet ink, elevate the substrate to a vertical direction, and shake off the excess powder.

Copal varnish resins are derived from the sap of a variety of tropical plants. The copal’s numerous hues, ranging from transparent to vivid yellowish brown, are exposed when polished. It is used to manufacture printing ink and varnish because it dissolves in hot alcohol and organic solvents. To get the required raised printing look, the object would be placed on a heat source, such as a specialized hot plate.

Prior to the construction of the first automated thermography apparatus in 1915, thermography needed a substantial amount of experience. According to legend, the Virkotype Corporation created the first self-operating thermograph. Carlson Corporation began selling Virkotype hardware and software in Europe in 1920. Because of its reduced cost and wider availability, thermographic printing quickly surpassed copper or steel engraving as the primary method of embossing ink.

Following WWII, thermography became quite popular. As powders and equipment improved, more printers adopted the method. Since 1900, thermographic printing has risen in popularity, becoming a standard printing process capable of adorning any item of stationery.

What Exactly Is Thermography?

Thermography is a type of post-printing that combines thermography gear and regular printing procedures. This contributes to the one-of-a-kind outcomes you see after the job is completed.

Offset printing ink is combined with powdered resin and baked, causing the resin to rise to the surface and give the ink a raised, textured appearance. To begin, an offset printer creates the final output using slow-drying ink. Before sending the wet printed sheets, a resin-dusting tunnel applies resin to the inked areas and removes any excess. After that, the resin is heated until it melts, resulting in a larger, glassy, raised picture.

Thermography employs a wide range of powders. Fine, medium, coarse, dull, matte, and glossy powders are available. The granules absorb the color of the ink underneath them due to their transparency. See-through drawings may be made with transparent ink.

When Is Thermography Printing Appropriate?

The service is used by the vast majority of thermographic printing customers to create business cards and other office stationery. Other examples include wedding invitations, greeting cards, report covers, and other printed promotional goods. To achieve various visual effects, thermography should only be used in certain sections of the sheet.

It can also print Braille text, which is useful for the blind. Even when not in Braille, products printed using thermography are simpler to interpret for persons with limited vision. It is also widely used to print diplomas rather than the more costly and time-consuming engraved embossing method.

Thermographic Printing Colors

The transparent powder is commonly used to allow the elevated zone to absorb the color of the printed ink. Powders come in a variety of colors, including white, gold, silver, copper, and even glow-in-the-dark powders. As a consequence, you may be confident that thermography will meet your aesthetic needs.

There Are Many Benefits to Thermography Printing

Raised printing creates a polished, eye-catching print. Moreover, thermography is far less costly than engraving or embossing. It adds a tactile dimension to the printed material. After passing through the heat tunnel, the ink on the printed product is completely dry, allowing for rapid cutting and packing.

Making a High-Quality Thermographic Print

Keep the following considerations in mind while planning a thermography printing job. It is preferable that you explore your options with the experts at TEAM Concept Printing in order to achieve the best possible results for your project.

  • Since they may cover the non-image zone, screens and halftones are not recommended for Thermography. Likewise, avoid both complicated and minute components. Keep your score at seven or fewer.
  • The dimensions of thermographic pictures are not restricted. Huge color patches, on the other hand, have the potential to cause burning.
  • Thermography can be performed on either coated or uncoated paper. The uncoated sheets stand out aesthetically in comparison to the glossy thermography surface.
  • It is permissible to use coverings with basic weights ranging from 20 pounds to three times that thickness. If you want your prints to appear their best, avoid using textured materials.


Thermography is a specialized printing process that produces some of the greatest commercial printer outcomes. While you may be aware of some components, knowing what thermography may accomplish for you will help you decide whether or not to have it printed.

The quality of your printed items may have an impact on the success of your advertising and brand-building efforts. Look into the company’s reputation when seeking someone to assist you with printing to ensure that they can correctly translate your thoughts into textual form. TEAM Concept Printing attempts to suit its clients’ needs by providing a number of choices, including thermography. Click here to learn more about the work they do.

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Theresa Winfrey